13 February 2014
One Candle. Wait, what?
Our new place in Amsterdam is, like, a bazillionth the size of our grandly-proportioned living area of our old one in Den Haag. Which meant one of three things:
1. Have the party elsewhere, which means spending a good chunk of change on a day little darling butterbean won't remember. Nope.
2. Invite everyone I had at Julian's first two birthdays (23-27 adults plus the same amount of kids... eek). No effing way. It would've been all Lord of the Flies in here before the candle was lit.
3. Keep the guest list small, invite only people I keep in touch with on a regular basis and really, really feel I know. Maybe I'll piss I few people off. Maybe not. Cleanup=a breeze. Reasonable quantity of food prep. Hmmm... Bingo.
The stress of planning for ten adults and seven kids didn't even register on my anxiety radar in comparison to planning the Monster Parties that came before. The afternoon was relaxed, gezellig, fun, and I remembered to talk to people and laugh. I am intensely grateful for the love that flowed at the party; it evicted most of my lingering homesickness and reminded me that my roots are real here, too.
And the cake? It was the best I've made in the history of me preheating an oven. Unless I have some sort of cake epiphany in the coming months/years, I'm making this cake for birthdays ever after. You probably already know I have a raging culinary crush on Deb over at Smitten Kitchen, but it just got restraining orderish after this recipe. Seriously. I might have taken more photos of the cake than my child. Yellow cake, chocolate sour cream frosting. Nothing fancy but perfect in every way. Reminiscent of Duncan Hines. People's eyes glazed over when they bit into their slice. Seconds were had.
Also on the menu: cheese straws (also Smitten Kitchen), polenta bites with arugula tapenade + radishes (Food & Wine), and mini feta + spinach pies (Jamie Oliver's concoction made tiny).